The first photo is of a small embroidery (about the size of a placemat) that I found at a house sale this past summer. It has been sitting on my work table, and I examine it often. It is so pretty the way it is, yet I bought it with the thought that I would cut it up and use it in my own textile sculptures. I'll have to be very sure of myself before I take scissors to it.
The other photo is of one of my lions. I have made 3 lions so far, and they each have a unique personality. Interesting how the particular stretch of the fabric, or the fashion in which I happened to sew a seam, creates a different face, even though I use the same pattern.
I so love making textile sculptures. I have so many populating my work room. I have sold some - to people in my community, as well as others including in other countries. But, I have not struck upon the best way to find an audience. I have found that the creative part comes freely from me, the marketing not so much.
Lots of projects this week: sewing, knitting, cooking. Thanksgiving, Hanukah, and a sweet niece turns 16. It seems like yesterday when I witnessed her birth, which occurred during my first year of midwifery training. A whole lifetime ago!
Settling into the colder, darker time here in New England. Spending more time with my sewing. Our three cats roam about my work room, mostly behaving themselves, although I have to watch them carefully as they tend to like the ribbons, string, and yarn that populates my storage baskets.
I've started making some bust portraits. Lots of embroidered details, which are a soothing and contemplative process to stitch. This past spring I bought a box full of small wooden chairs, each about 4 inches tall, from a local artist who is moving to New Mexico. I believe she made them for some sort of installation. I find them the perfect match for mounting these busts.
Thanksgiving and Hanukah both next week. Looking forward to meals and celebration with family and friends. Hope you are too.
A couple of photos from my workroom this morning. So quiet in the house once the kids are off to school.
The final photo is a new rabbit I made yesterday, now ready for a face and tail. The hand dyed wool I have been working with is absolutely beautiful: soft yet nicely thick, subtle color changes throughout in purples and pink.
I was happy to recently find the Dharma Seed podcast. This is a collection of talks given by teachers of vipassana meditation in the Buddhist tradition. I once lived nearby the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and was able to attend retreats there. Now, my life is such that it is harder to go on retreat for a week at a time, so listening to these talks is helpful.
I am drawn to images of animals, as I'm sure many people are. They are so a part of our lives, of our environments.
The above top image is from a memorial plaque at the Bath Abbey (The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul) in Bath, England. I just loved the aged marble and the sensitive expressions on both the animal and human faces. I was also very interested to see the beaver alongside all of the domesticated animals.
This is the second sheep I have made. It has a pink fleece (lovely German mohair) and a black ruffled ribbon around its neck that provides a somewhat solemn feeling to the piece.
We lost a beloved cat this week, so I am also thinking about how animals come in and out of our lives. If you own different pets over a lifetime, that is many losses along the way.
It is golden summer time and I have been sewing quite a bit. I have some items in my etsy shop and will be continuing to add more. If there is something you do not see there, but are interested in, please let me know.
Above is a new taxidermy bird made of gold velvet, with vintage lace and millinery flowers. It has a silver loop on the back for hanging.
Also some images I recently hung on my bulletin board for inspiration. I see a gold theme here as well. I have been traveling a lot this summer and found these cards in various places: the Musee D'Orsay (small child with pail and tall cat), the gift shop at Buckingham Palace (the horses), and the Met in NYC (the hedgehog).
Here is a little blue rabbit I made, in honor of spring's arrival. The top photo is from a folk art book I enjoy flipping through for inspiration. The little white rabbit sitting on the upper left hand branch of the green tree inspired my pattern.
The bottom photo is of a basket sitting on the edge of my work desk that catches pieces I have in progress but am not currently motivated to finish. I have to think on these - what to do next, how to make a certain feature, and the like. The doll (which I showed earlier) now has hair and an embroidered face. I'm thinking about how to clothe or embellish her.
I am happy to tell you that my web site, Lovely World Handmade (lovelyworldhandmade.com), is up and running! Please let me know what you think. My etsy shop has a new banner and will soon have new work in it.
I've worked out a pattern for a sheep. I have had several pieces of this gorgeous German mohair for a while and am very careful about what I use it for because it is very expensive. I think it makes a beautiful coat for this sheep. A poof of cotton candy. I have also used various colors of the mohair for lion's mane and camel hair.
I have made myself a pinterest account and put up a number of boards. Do you use this site? I am finding it a nice way to save images of things I want to remember. I am also interested in how my particular aesthetic began to shine through once I had posted a variety of images. I suppose we all curate the world with different eyes.
A friend recently asked me to make this leaping dog as a gift for her daughter and her daughter's husband. The couple is adopting a labrador retriever and she wanted to give them something special to celebrate.
My kids return to school today after a week's vacation. Our trip to Washington, DC was busy but very satisfying. The climate rally was exciting, particularly for the kids. Politics are tough in DC, but I was glad to see that environmental leaders are coming forward to organize and hopefully sway us all in the right direction. Interestingly, there were a number of Native American leaders who spoke. They were eloquent, and brought a much-needed perspective and long view of things.
We also saw so many sites and museums, but there was a lot we didn't get to do. I missed being able to visit the Smithsonian art museums, particularly the folk art collection. The favorite activity of us all: ice skating at the sculpture park rink.
I recently had a display of my work at our local public library. The library keeps an enclosed glass case near the circulation desk, and exhibits rotate through the year. I enjoyed the conversations and positive feedback from people in my community who were inspired by the display. I sold a few things, and was commissioned to make several new pieces as well.
I am hoping to have my website up and running very soon. A friend is helping with some design work and I think we will meet this week to finalize things. Once that is done I will be placing items in my etsy shop.
We are heading down to Washington, DC this weekend for the Climate Rally. My kids have never been to DC and this is a very exciting way to first experience the capitol - with political action!